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A Gourmet E-book


Eat like Don Quixote!

Writing for this blog has allowed me to explore many different instances of meals in books–but I am not the first (nor do I suspect, the last) to tackle this tasty literary project. Available as an E-book through the Wheelock library, The Literary Gourmet: Menus From Masterpieces takes on the task of creating menus based on passages in famous books, from the Bible, to Don Quixote, to The Importance of Being Earnest.

The author, Linda Wolfe, provides a brief synopsis of the story, then excerpts a scene from each book in which the selected food appears. She then creates a menu with the help of historical resources–relying on varied sources such as Biblical encyclopedias for the Red Pottage of Lentils, or two women’s conflicting chowder recipes from the 1800s to reflect New England Clam Chowder as it was known in the time of Moby Dick and as it is recognized now.

There are entrees, starters and desserts (who knew The Legend of Sleepy Hollow betrayed such a sweet tooth!) so you can create an entire meal spanning some of the world’s most famous works of literature. My only criticism of this book is that it could stand to broaden the diversity of authors to include women and people of color. Perhaps, inspired by this delicious text, one of you, readers, will take up that task!

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In Memoriam

We are a little over halfway through 2014, but already we have lost several remarkable figures in the children’s literature community. These prolific authors and illustrators leave behind powerful legacies of unforgettable works through which we are able to celebrate their lives and dazzling contributions to the world of children’s literature.

Erik Blegvad (March 3, 1923 – January 14, 2014)

Erik Blegvad was a children’s book artist, known for his whimsical illustrations of over 100 books. A native to Denmark, Blegvad studied at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts and worked as a commercial illustrator before developing a refined pen-and-ink style that was perfectly suited to children’s books. He collaborated with his wife, Lenore Blegvad, who wrote numerous children’s books that he illustrated until her death in 2008.

Among Blegvad’s best known works are the illustrations for Bed-Knob and Broomstick, Mud Pies and Other Recipes (J W738m), and Anna Banana & Me, along with his own translation of Hans Christian Andersen.

twelve tales    mudpies for dolls    anna banana


Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

Christened “The People’s Poet” and celebrated author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (920.7 An4i 2009), Dr. Maya Angelou was a renaissance woman and cultural pioneer, known for…well, just about everything from poems and lectures to stage performance and social activism to Hallmark cards and keynote speeches!  A little less well-known but no less poignant are Dr. Angelou’s children’s books that all capture the imagination of a child’s world and Dr. Angelou’s love of language and sound.

Written in the 1990s, Dr. Angelou’s children’s books include Life Doesn’t Frighten Me (J 811 An4l), My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me (J 704.042 An4m), and Kofi and His Magic. In 2004, she also published the Maya’s World series, which introduces a child from a different country with each installment.

kofi and magic    my painted house my friendly chicken and me     life doesn't frighten me


Eric Hill (September 7, 1927 – June 6, 2014)

While freelancing as a creative marketing designer, Eric Hill made a simple drawing of a puppy and began to tell stories about the pup’s mischievous antics to his three-year-old son. Today, that little dog is better known as Spot, and his stories have flourished into a popular series of children’s books that have sold more than 60 million copies. Hill’s first book, Where’s Spot? was an instant favorite of preschool children, who loved the bright colors and whimsical characters. Hill is also credited with one of the earliest uses of interactive flaps and pop-ups in his books that now are commonplace in books for young children today.

wheres spot    spots birthday      spot at home


Walter Dean Myers (August 12, 1937 – July 1, 2014)

Walter Dean Myers was a bestselling and terrifically prolific children’s author, who was a three-time National Book Award nominee and received five Coretta Scott King awards for African-American fiction. Widely respected in the literary community and a tireless advocate for diversity in children’s literature, Myers served as a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in 2012-13, a position created in part by the Library of Congress.

Myers completed more than 100 books in his lifetime—two notable works being Lockdown and Monster (J M99mon). Myers’ books are usually narrated by teenagers trying to make difficult right choices in the face of easy wrong ones, and he was the “rare author” to have a large following of middle-grade boys. His new, futuristic novel, On a Clear Day is scheduled to be released in September 2014.

lookinglike-me    jazz    monster

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FYI: Welcome First Years!

You can probably hear the buzz and feel the energy mounting on the Wheelock campus.  It’s that time of year when we welcome the incoming freshman class to Wheelock College.  The Wheelock College Library would like to say, “Welcome First Years!”libheartyou

The most important thing for you to know about the Wheelock Library is that the library staff is here to help you.  That’s right.  We are here for you.  Ask us anything!  We’re here to help.  Never looked up a book in the library catalog before?  Ask us.  Need to find articles for your research paper?  Ask us.  Wondering where in the library the Writing Center is?  Ask us.

This is your library.  From open until close every day, this is your space to study, meet with friends, relax, learn, grow, and create.  Want to study quietly while listening to your best study music on your headphones?  We welcome you.  Want to work on a group project in one of the library’s group study rooms?  We welcome you.  Want to take a nap on a library couch?  We welcome you.

In the library you’ll find:

  • Studying Space, including Quiet areas, Collaborative areas, and Study rooms
  • Resources, including books (and e-books), children’s books, articles, course readings, and movies
  • AV equipment, including digital camcorders, audio recorders, digital cameras, voice recorders, and headphones
  • Computers and printers
  • Staff who are ready to help you

You may be asking, “Okay, but what if I’m a second year (or third year, or fourth year)?”  We welcome you too!  It’s never too late (or too early) to visit the library.

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Children’s Literature Awards

Have you ever wondered about the medals that appear on some children’s books? Probably lots of books you read (or were handed) when you were a kid sported these tiny, shiny seals, and you still find them on books today—golds, silvers, and bronzes. Many children’s literature award panels (and I mean many!) present these medals to authors who contribute works of excellence and distinction to the field of children’s books, but each award has a different focus and definition of what merits a medal.

The Newbery Medal    newberymedal

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The award goes all the way back to 1922, and each year, committee names a winner and at least one (though usually more) honor books.

2014 Winner


Flora & Ulysses – Kate DiCamillo (J D548f)

2014 Honors

newbery_doll    newbery_billy    newbery_one-came-home    newbery_paperboy

Doll Bones – Holly Black (J B5612d)

The Year of Billy Miller – Kevin Henkes (J H388y)

One Came Home – Amy Timberlake

Paperboy - Vince Vawter (J V398p)


The Caldecott Medal    caldecottmedal

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. (That’s right! This award goes to the artist who illustrates the picturebook—not the author.) The committee chooses a winner and one or more honor books each year—take a look at some past winners and see how diverse the illustrations are year to year!

2014 Winner


Locomotive - Brian Floca (J 385.097 F56L)

2014 Honors

caldecott_journey    caldecott_flora-flamingo    caldecott_mr-wuffles

Journey - Aaron Becker (J-P B383j)

Flora and the Flamingo – Holly Schaar Idle (J-P Id54f)

Mr. Wuffles! – David Wiesner (J-P W6365m)


The Coretta Scott King Book Award    cskingseal

Starting in 1970, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.  The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King. This award also has several pieces. There’s the Author Award, the Illustrator Award, the John Steptoe Award for New Talent, and the Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement (those last two divisions—added in 1995 and 2010 respectively) are named for previous award winners). The committee also names honor books for the Author and Illustrator award.

2014 Winner—Author Award


P.S. Be Eleven – Rita Williams Garcia (J W6751p)

2014 Honors—Author Award

csking_march    csking_words    csking_darius-twig

March: Book One – John Lewis

Words with Wings – Nikki Grimes

Darius & Twig – Walter Dean Myers


The Stonewall Book Award—Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award    stonewallseal

The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Like the Coretta Scott King award, the Stonewall Book Award has several divisions, and recently, one of them has been devoted to children’s and YA literature—the Mike Morgan and Larry Romans award. Since The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd received the first award in 2010, many other books have won and been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.

2014 Winner(s!)

stonewall_beautiful-ugly    stonewall_angie

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children – Kristin Cronn-Mills

Fat Angie – e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

2014 Honors

stonewall_nate    stonewall_branded    stonewall_two-boys

Better Nate Than Ever – Tim Federic

Branded by the Pink Triangle – Ken Setterington

Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan (ebrary)


More awards to explore…

The (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award

The Pura Belpré Award

The (Laura Ingalls) Wilder Award

The Michael L. Printz Award

The Schneider Family Book Award

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

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